Nokia 808 PureView reviews are in – it succeeds as a camera, fails as a phone

June 26, 2012

The Nokia 808 PureView is a great camera, it’s just a shame about the phone it’s attached to.

When it first announced the 808 PureView Nokia stunned everybody into silence with the 41-megapixel-boasting camera. On a phone. The device has now made its way into the hands of several websites, all of whom have now thoroughly tested it for review purposes. There’s a general consensus that the Nokia 808 PureView is a mixture of awesome and agonizing.

The Verge calls the Nokia 808 PureView “the greatest cameraphone ever” but adds that with Symbian the company has “saddled it with the most antiquated and frustrating OS it could find.” Symbian is so poor in 2012 that the 808 PureView cannot even be considered a smartphone. The review concludes with “a mediocre product … one that we’re unlikely to forget for years to come.”

CNET states that the Nokia 808 PureView “beats all current smart phones known for their imaging prowess.” Unfortunately that same problem identified already comes into play once more, with the review suggesting the “main drawback is the Symbian operating system.” It ends on a high note though, with “If you just want a camera that has the ability to make calls and send/receive emails, then the 808 looks like it will fulfill this purpose very well.”

Engadget describes the Nokia 808 PureView as “the best cameraphone out there,” but counters that by mourning its lack of “simplicity, function and comfort of competing smartphones.” Symbian once again comes in for a beating with the complaint that it “often collapses under the weight of even moderate demands,” but this is still the “clear cameraphone champion.”

The conclusion that has to be drawn from all this is that the 808 PureView is Nokia’s proof that the technology works, and works extremely well for that matter. But that it needs the right hardware and software combination housing it to be worthwhile. I can’t quite see who would buy the 808 PureView. Camera enthusiasts will already own a device capable of similar performance, while phone connoisseurs will likely turn their nose up at the failings of Symbian.

Nokia has already stated that it’s bringing PureView to Lumia handsets in the future, so the company should take heart from the fact it actually works. The big winner however is Microsoft, which could just have landed a key selling point for future Windows Phone 8 devices.

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5 Responses to “Nokia 808 PureView reviews are in – it succeeds as a camera, fails as a phone”

  1. ashok pai:

    symbian is better than the microsoft WP7 at least!

  2. seth:

    the nokia pureview 808 unbelievably great cameraphone.
    the still photo and videos and sound are the best. the phone quality is great. the internet functions work well.

  3. HUgh:

    Nice of you to ommit the GSM Areana Review (the most popular phone site in teh world) which rates nokia belle operating system as being as good as andriod and ios. Still, that might spoil your headline.

  4. Joey:

    I can imagine how the photos it took would look on a computer. Too bad it isn’t a better phone though! Maybe when the price goes down on this phone, I’ll use it as my camera!

  5. Dave Parrack:

    @ashok – Have you used Windows Phone? It’s pretty damn good.

    @seth – The reviews say different.

    @HUgh – No conspiracy, that site didn’t show up on my travels around the InterWebs reading reviews.

    @Joey – Good point. If I could pick this up cheap I’d use it as a small, lightweight camera. Forget the phone features.

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